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Ohio Politics Explained: Trump endorses DeWine, court hears abortion case

Former President Donald Trump is coming to Ohio, and he endorsed Gov. Mike DeWine days before his arrival. The state Supreme Court was taken off an abortion case, and politicians from across Ohio clamored for a picture of themselves at Intel’s groundbreaking.

We break down what it all means on this week’s episode of Ohio Politics Explained.

It’s a podcast from the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau where we catch you up on the state’s political news in 15 minutes or less. This week, host Anna Staver was joined by reporter Haley BeMiller.

1) Trump’s stamp of approval

The former president is still popular in Ohio, and he’s trying to give some of that support to statewide Republicans this November.

Trump is scheduled to appear in Youngstown with U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance on Saturday, Sept. 17, and he endorsed DeWine for governor Wednesday night.

Trump wrote that Ohio’s governor “quietly, but professionally and patriotically, goes about doing his job, and really well” while Democratic challenger Nan Whaley is “a terrible person” who would send the state “back to the Stone Ages.”

2) Party fight

Republican Jim Renacci didn’t get the GOP endorsement when he challenged DeWine for the governor’s seat this spring, but now he might get to rewrite how the Ohio Republican Party makes those choices.

The former congressman is helping Summit County GOP Chair Bryan Williams in his bid to take over as state party chairman on Friday.

“I’ve had a lot of people call me about trying to help bring the Republican Party back to where it should be,” Renacci told the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau. “Clearly, Bob Paduchik has failed.”

3) Abortion lawsuit shift

Ohio’s abortion clinics are trying a different legal tactic when it comes to blocking the state law banning almost all abortions after six weeks.

They withdrew a direct appeal to Ohio’s Supreme Court and filed their lawsuit in Hamilton County.

“We couldn’t wait any longer,” said Freda Levenson, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. “Things were taking so long in the Ohio Supreme Court. It’s been over two months of ongoing and worsening damage across the state.”

The lawsuit alleges that Ohio’s “heartbeat bill” banning abortions once fetal cardiac activity can be detected violates state privacy rights and discriminates against women.

4) Pass me a shovel

Ohio’s biggest economic development project is breaking ground this week in Licking County, and lawmakers from across the political spectrum will be there.

President Joe Biden, DeWine and Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman will all be in attendance Friday to shovel the ceremonial dirt for Intel’s $20 billion investment in two semiconductor manufacturing plants.

Listen to “Ohio Politics Explained” on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and TuneIn Radio. The episode is also available by clicking the link in this article.

The USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves The Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.